Austin Expected to Shut Down Bars, Dining and More Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Adler, Eckhardt to announce next steps 11am Tuesday, March 17
By Mike Clark-Madison,
10:33PM, Mon. Mar. 16, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic's scale becomes impossible to diminish, Austin is expected to join other major cities in Texas and across the U.S. in closing down restaurants, bars, and other gathering places tomorrow.
Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed that he and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt "will make a public announcement tomorrow at 11am CST" according to a Tweet sent Monday night."We have been closely watching cities across the country move to close restaurants & bars," the mayor said. "I've been on record in favor of this."
We have been closely watching cities across the country move to close restaurants & bars. I've been on the record in favor of this as part of #Austin 's #COVID19 response. @JudgeEckhardt & I will make a public announcement tomorrow at 11:00AM CST.— Mayor Adler (@MayorAdler) March 17, 2020
Earlier on Monday, Dallas and Houston joined New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles in implementing similar measures to close bars and clubs, restaurant dining rooms (while allowing take-out and delivery), theaters, gyms and fitness studios, and other gathering places for at least the rest of March. This follows new federal guidelines encouraging even greater social distancing – limiting groups to 10 people or less, and urging at-risk persons to self-isolate entirely regardless of symptoms – as the epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus continues to escalate. It's not clear yet if Austin's rules will differ in material ways from those now in effect in other cities.
This is a developing story. Read more of the Chronicle's coronavirus coverage online and in this week's print edition.